Despite the popular belief that sugar-free beverages are less damaging to your teeth, a new study confirms that they can be, in fact, just as bad as sugar.
Reducing one’s sugar intake is associated with healthier teeth for certain, but what is often forgotten is that sugar-free beverages tend to include other chemicals. These chemicals can be in the form of acids, like phosphoric acid or citric acid, artificial flavorings and sweeteners or chemical preservatives. Acids such as these in particular are known for their ability to soften dental enamel and lead to tooth erosion. Moreover, there is no real nutritional benefit to these beverages. Sports drinks are commonly seen as a healthy alternative to soda, but in reality, they are often just as sugar-laden. And unless you are a competitive athlete, you really don’t need to replenish your potassium and sodium levels that often.
Test results found shocking results in a comparison between sugared beverages and artificially sweetened beverages: both drinks caused measurable loss of enamel, and there was no significant difference between the two. Even the sports drinks in this study were found to be erosive, along with sugarless confections that are often labeled “tooth friendly.”
The take-away here is truly that water is best. It’s okay to have occasional treats, but your intake of soda and sports drinks should be limited regardless of their sugar content.